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COVID-19: PTF to launch transparency initiative dashboards

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IN A bid to effectively monitor the rate of coronavirus infection in the country, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has revealed plans to launch the Transparency Initiative Dashboards platform.

  The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure while briefing reporters on COVID-19, yesterday, in Abuja.

  “This is a significant milestone because it puts valuable information at the disposal of every Nigeria.” Mustapha said.

  According to the PTF boss, this explains the presence of the development partners in the effort to curtail the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

  He noted that it was exactly six months ago that the Minister of Health broke the news of Nigeria’s index case of coronavirus.

  The PTF chairman added that the federal government had immediately put in place containment measures to help meet the challenge that had started crippling economies and exposed inadequacies even in the best healthcare systems.

  He noted that Lagos, Kano and Ogun States and then Oyo at a time were the initial epicentres of the pandemic.

  It would be recalled that exactly six months ago, as at yesterday, February 27, 2020, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire broke the news of Nigeria’s index case of coronavirus from Ogun State.

  This was immediately followed by introduction of some measures by the federal government, to help meet the challenges arising from the situation, especially, its impact on extremely stretched health system and the economy.

  “It is with all sense of modesty that I wish to state that Nigeria has done remarkably well but could do exceedingly better as captured in Mr President’s speech during the World Health Certification-Free status for the African continent when he expressed optimism on our fight against the pandemic.”

   He reiterated that at time when the global community is battling the COVID-19 pandemic eradication of the polio virus has strengthened his conviction that with the requisite political will, investments and strategies, as well as citizens’ commitment, the curve will be flattened.

  “As we enter the last week of this extended eased lock-down phase and note the impressively declining fatality ratio and reduction of confirmed cases, the PTF would also like to draw our attention to a subtle change in epicentre of the virus.

  We all recall that Lagos, Kano and Ogun States were the initial epicentres and this to Oyo at a time, and now Plateau State.

  It is, therefore, in the above context that the PTF re-emphasises her often repeated calls to every citizen to take responsibility by complying with all guidelines and non-pharmaceutical measures, including wearing of masks properly, maintaining social distances, avoiding large gatherings, maintaining regular hygienic practices and most important, staying at home for the most vulnerable.”

  Continuing, “as we keep to these simple protocols, our individual and collective efforts at balancing lives and livelihoods would achieve its intended benefits, especially now that we have opened a lot of sectors and opening more sectors.”

  He recalled, the National Bureau of Statistics Q2 2020 released, showing dipping performance of the economy with the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) slumping to -6.10 per cent due to the impact of the COVID-19 on oil market.

  According to Mustapha, “this underscores the impact of the pandemic on the global economy. As we have often repeated, the pandemic also presents us with opportunities and impetus for innovation, creativity and industrial development.

  For existing businesses of different sizes, we wish to remind you that the government has approved an Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) containing stimulus packages for businesses to access.

  As we prepare to reopen the international airspace, therefore, we are optimistic that the economy will continue to improve along the value chain, as goods, services and passengers move across borders.”

He noted that the aviation sector will no doubt provide a window to the world as a shutdown of 23 straight weeks has obviously impacted negatively on the economy.

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